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Winter advection of iron can explain the summer phytoplankton bloom that extends 1000 km downstream of the Kerguelen Plateau in the Southern Ocean

Citation

Mongin, M and Abraham, ER and Trull, T, Winter advection of iron can explain the summer phytoplankton bloom that extends 1000 km downstream of the Kerguelen Plateau in the Southern Ocean, Journal of Marine Research, 67, (2) pp. 225-237. ISSN 0022-2402 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1357/002224009789051218

Abstract

The predominantly low-chlorophyll conditions of the Southern Ocean are punctuated by regions of elevated phytoplankton biomass, including a bloom in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) that extends for 1000 km downstream of the Kerguelen-Heard islands. Summer-time studies have demonstrated that iron from the islands and intervening shallow plateau (300-600 m) fuels localized production. Whether this supply, or alternatively iron brought to the surface by enhanced mixing in ACC eddies, drives the more extensive downstream bloom has not been addressed. We show that the extent and shape of the downstream bloom can be reproduced by simulating the winter-time spread of a slowly-decaying tracer (iron) from the islands and plateau using a satellite-altimetry based advection scheme. This suggests that mesoscale activity in the ACC plays a minor role in generating the enhanced biomass and emphasizes the importance of shallow bathymetry, large-scale advection, and winter-time observations in understanding the productivity of the Southern Ocean.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Chemical Oceanography
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water
Objective Field:Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Marine Environments
Author:Mongin, M (Mr Mathieu Mongin)
Author:Trull, T (Professor Thomas Trull)
ID Code:71396
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2011-07-18
Last Modified:2011-09-21
Downloads:0

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